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Surface water
Surface water

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3.4.1 Land use

By their very nature, reservoirs occupy large areas of land. Lake Nasser, the reservoir created by the Aswan Dam, has an area of 6000 km2, and even in Britain some 250 km2 of land is covered by reservoirs. The largest in the UK is Kielder Water in Northumberland, which covers about 10.5 km2. British reservoirs are generally in upland areas of scenic beauty that are otherwise suitable only for hiking and related pastimes, and as rough grazing for sheep, but reservoirs may cover up rich farmland or villages, or destroy sites of outstanding natural beauty or of archaeological importance. Land itself is an important resource, and drowning it under a reservoir may not be the best use of that resource, especially if the water can be supplied by alternative means.